Documents Suggest the Trump Admin Diverted $3.6Bln From US Military to Build Wall, Report Says
© REUTERS / JOSE LUIS GONZALEZMigrant child is seen through the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn himself with his family in to U.S. Border Patrol agents to request for asylum in El Paso, Texas, U.S., as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico March 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, August 6 (Sputnik) – New Pentagon documents obtained by Politico reportedly shed light on the practices used by the Trump administration to redirect $3.6 billion of military construction funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico in 2019, the outlet reported on Friday.
The funds which had been initially destined for overseas military improvements were skipped past Congress and made immediately available to the Army Corps of Engineers for building the wall, the report said.
In 2019, then-President Donald Trump used a statute from 1982 to declare a national emergency over the immigration crisis which, in turn, allowed the Department of Defense to proceed with funds diversion bypassing any procedural requirements, including omitting Congressional committees hearings.
As an example of such diversion practices, the documents showed that about $205.8 million was realigned with a new project line for the wall and added into the US Navy’s construction budget under "CONUS UNSPECIFIED", according to the report.
"If we should have another situation where a president wants to take money away from the military and put it into a domestic, personal, political agenda, then we should be able to stop that", Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed said as cited by the report.
In June, US Defense Department said it was redirecting $2.2 billion the Trump administration took away from the military to build new border wall to use it for other construction projects this year.
The Trump administration was able to construct 400 miles of the large steel wall structure despite lengthy court battles and opposition from Democrats in Congress.